THE devastated family of a young motorcyclist killed in a crash have described him as a ‘true legend’.
Loved ones, friends and the wider community are in shock following the death of 25-year-old dad-of-one Joe Butland.
Joe was travelling home from work on his green and black Kawasaki motorbike at Comley Hill – a country road that links Rowlands Castle with Emsworth – when the fatal crash happened.
Police believe Joe was thrown off his motorbike after clipping a Nissan Qashqai and then crashing into a Range Rover that had broken down.
However, these details are not certain and police have launched an investigation to determine what happened.
The incident happened at about 4.10pm on Sunday and Joe died at the scene.
Joe lived in Edgell Road in Westbourne with his partner Chloe Jacobs and their baby daughter.
His family paid tribute to Joe in a joint statement.
It read: ‘Joe was a massive bike and football (Arsenal) enthusiast, an amazing father and a top friend always smiling.
‘He was high on life, a top guy who will be truly missed and never forgotten.
‘Always in our hearts. Enjoy the track in the sky. Godspeed. A true legend.’
Joe grew up in Adderbury Avenue, Emsworth, and had attended Bourne Community College. He had worked for six years at J&S Accessories, a motorcycling shop in London Road, Cowplain.
Colleague Laura Rodgers said: ‘You could not meet anyone more enthusiastic about bikes.
‘He was very passionate and honest. He was a great dad and loved his kid. He will be missed by the entire community definitely.’
She added: ‘It’s an empty hole and it’s going to be very hard to fill it.
‘I don’t think it will be filled.’
Neighbours in Adderbury Avenue were in shock yesterday.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said they were driving down Comley Hill on Sunday when they were turned back and wondered what had happened.
He said: ‘It’s a massive shock. He was a nice lad. He was always very pleasant and has a beautiful baby girl.’
A police spokeswoman said: ‘Police would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened, or who saw either the motorcycle or a dark-coloured 4x4 prior to the incident.’
Call Sgt Darren Ord on 101 quoting Operation Perim.